Boxing Match: In their exciting world heavyweight title battle at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, Anthony Joshua was defeated by a magnificent exhibition of brilliance from Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua’s reign as IBF, WBA, and WBO champion came to an end in a thrilling bout that Oleksandr Usyk won by unanimous decision following a dazzling performance.
Joshua was badly damaged in the third round and then forced to clutch on in the last seconds of a contest that will be remembered for a long time.
The second setback of Joshua’s career, following his defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, has now dashed aspirations of a fantasy undisputed title battle against Tyson Fury, who fights Deontay Wilder again on October 9, after Usyk caused another twist in this fantastic division.
Despite Joshua’s bravery and courage, and the damage he inflicted on his opponent’s face, the night belonged to Usyk, who became only the third boxer (after Evander Holyfield and David Haye) to win world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight.
He was the undisputed cruiserweight champion and now only needs the WBC title, which Fury owns, to achieve the same feat at heavyweight.
Usyk twice touched Joshua with his rapid left hand inside the first round, and any notion that he would box conservatively vanished within seconds as his determination to take the centre of the ring became evident.
For the first few rounds, Usyk’s quickness and movement were mesmerising, and he was consistently beating Joshua to the punch.
When Usyk staggered Joshua with another stunning left hand at the end of the third round, his legs abruptly sank, forcing the spectators to gasp.
In the fifth round, Joshua landed his first significant right hand, eliciting a wry look from Usyk, but it was evident that the champion had finally made his mark. For the end of the fifth, he discovered another right hand on the bell.
In the sixth, Joshua landed an even more strong right hand, forcing Usyk onto his back foot. Usyk finished the round with a black eye and a reddish face after feeling his power.
Joshua’s confidence grew as he landed a left hook to the body, but Usyk retaliated with venom when he moved upstairs.
Joshua was then sent staggering backwards, and he had to work hard to keep his balance as Usyk stung him with a left hand in an intriguing seventh.
In the eighth round, Joshua thudded several hard body punches home And it was evident that the mysterious Ukrainian was feeling the additional weight of the Brit in those shots.
By the 10th, both combatants had significant wounds – Usyk was cut and had blood flowing into his eye, but more concerningly, Joshua’s right eye was severely swelled.
Usyk’s quick start in the 11th left Joshua off-balance and on the verge of collapsing, though the champion did strike back.
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